Conservative Home's debate blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books
My Photo

Conservative blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« Gay Duncan versus illegitimate Davis | Main | Is Michael Howard trying to engineer a Clarke-Cameron alliance? »



Wow - this is important. This is the first time that we've heard the Centre for Social Justice agenda put forward in a way that sounds as if it could be picked up by the broader electorate. I asked myself why I had this reaction, as there is nothing so brilliant in the words themselves. As I thought about it, I became convinced it's about who's actually saying it. Because David Davis comes from the background he does, because he has lived it and looks as if he's lived it, he puts the idea on a new level. Willetts is great, but he does sound like he's talking about it (brilliantly, of course) from the outside.

As D'Ancona says in the Sunday Telegraph today, the CSJ agenda is being taken on by everyone. But I think, among the leadership contenders, the only one who can make it seem real is David Davis.

Imagine if David Cameron affected interest in the inner city disadvantaged. It just wouldn't work. Even if his feelings were genuine, he would always seem like he was a toff looking at a jolly interesting specimen. That's why his version of being 'modern' and 'inclusive' stresses the easy stuff, sexuality and ethnicity. But urban socialites who happen to be black or homosexual are not the issue. The people who think Cameron is 'modern' are the ones with the quaintest view of life today. No way would Cameron (who I'm sure is a lovely lad) ever feel comfortable having a drink a dank pub in some unfashionable corner of Southwark or Stoke.

But David Davis as leader of the Conservative Party could really bring the CSJ vision to a new level of reality.


Yes - Personal stories and experience can always bring an argument alive and David Davis certainly has the biography to carry the 'Conservatism for the aspirational poor' thing off. As Gary Streeter MP said in this week's Spectator: "Blair's genius is that he embodies what New Labour are all about - he is the message."

The one thing I think we still need to hear more about - from DD and others - is a Conservatism that also helps the people who can't help themselves. Liam Fox highlighted mentally ill people in his S Tel interview. You could add children in care, the oldest pensioners and the severely disabled to that list.

Wat Tyler

Quite agree- DD is the only one of the runners who sounds so powerfully credible on these issues. He really connects.

And I agree also with our Editor on needing to have a much clearer position on how- in a world of real choice and smaller government- we Conservatives are going to help those who are- for whatever reason- incapable of making their own informed rational choices. Personally, I don't buy the line that says we can leave it all to the private (ie charitable/voluntary)sector.


This sounds promising - a true Conservative strategy to tackling poverty.

Coming from Stoke myself, I can tell you that a Convervative party wittering on about being nice to gays and non-white ethnics is the language of somebody from a different world. People with low income want somebody who will enable them to achieve something with their lives. What they don't want is a slimy politician sucking up to them.

For heaven's sake, people /want/ to feel part of something that links them to their fellow man around the country. /This/ is what gives them a reason to get up in the morning, go to work and feel they are a part of a bigger whole. Not being manipulated, condescended or having their self-respect insidiously taken away from them by an all intrusive welfare state.

James Hellyer

As with most of David Davis's articles, there's little to disagree with. There's also precious little substance. Peter Oborne may have had a point...


I agree with James.I will be more interested if and when DD (or any of the other candidates) suggest practical and workable solutions to the problems that face our country. Just coming up with vacuous soundbites about 'standing by the weakest in society' or 'speaking for the many not the few'is nowhere near enough.Heard it all before ,from any one of a hundred MPs from all parties.The question is,how?

Jack Stone

The view that Daid Cameron is not suited to become leader because he went to a public school is complete and total nonsense.If you take this view to its logical conclussion the party`s and the country`s greatest ever leader Winston Churchill who had the most privilege background of any Prime Minister ever would never stand a chance of leading the party today because of his background.
David Cameron is more likely to find support from the less well off because he as understood just how much people need and want good public services and how the party will only regain support if they put our public services before tax cuts.
I am certain David Cameron will lead the party and become Prime Minister. The only question that needs to be answered is will it take another defeat for the party to realise he is the party`s way back to power.


Surely the point is that the candidates need to articulate a vision at this stage and flesh it out later. The last thing we need are detailed policy proposals now.

James Hellyer

Yes, but their visions are all remarkably similar. Simply writing newspaper articles about "reaching out" does not constitute extending their vision.


Of course, Jack, going to a public school is no obstacle either to becoming a Conservative Prime Minister, nor of having genuine understanding and concern for people from all walks of life. But it is an obstacle if your whole way of relating to the world is through comfortable cliques, and never having anything worthwhile to say - as is the case with Cameron. I didn't say going to a public school is a disqualification, though clearly it might make it a little harder to relate to the majority of the population. Cameron doesn't; instead, he appears to think that 'reaching out' is having friends who are gay. I also went to public school and also have friends who are gay. That in itself means nothing.

But maybe I'm wrong, maybe Cameron really is, as you say, 'the party's way back to power.' Could you just explain why?


I would agree with you polblog if any of the candidates were espousing a 'vision' that actually meant anything.Arguments about whether we should occupy the 'centre ground' or the 'common ground' are meaningless to most people (including me).As for 'speaking for the many not the few',who on earth doesn,t?

Dave J

"I am certain David Cameron will lead the party and become Prime Minister."

But not necessarily in the immediate future.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home


  • Conservative Home's
    free eMailing List
    Enter your name and email address below: